Attracting the best talent has long been a challenge for recruiters. An applicant's soft skills and personal attributes are becoming increasingly important – often making them a decisive factor in employing someone. Start-up companies in particular, as well as small and medium-sized organisations, look for candidates who, in addition to their professional qualifications, can also offer commitment, resilience, flexibility, passion and creativity. Recruiters face some difficult questions both when reviewing applications and at interviews: Is the applicant a good fit in relation to the company's culture? Are they suitably motivated? Will they be capable of contributing innovative ideas to the company's development from the outset?
We give you some tips on how to be successful in this, what you should pay particular attention to during the recruitment process and why your gut feeling can often be a key indicator.
Where’s the Focus?
There is a symbiotic relationship between every employee and the organisations for which they work. The employee earns a living and is provided benefits, while the employer is able to generate profit, thus creating a give-and-take cycle. If you find the person on the other end of the phone or table is too focused on their own personal gain, your “spider senses” should begin to tingle. Whilst candidates should definitely be interested in the opportunity on a personal level, they should also have a strong interest in how and what they can contribute to their potential new teams.
Yes, the candidate should be excited about the opportunity; however, any recruiter worth their salt should be able to see through overly fake enthusiasm. Of course, job seekers will show interest, but pandering in order to get a job offer often leads to quick turnover. Get to the bottom of your suspicions by asking direct questions about motives. If they cannot describe why they are passionate about the job, you may be best advised to move on to the next candidate.
“Time and tide wait for no man.” Although Chaucer uttered these words centuries ago in reference to man’s inability to stop the clock, modern professionals should at least be respectful of the clock. There are circumstances outside of our control (car accidents, deaths in a family and so on), but unless there is very good reason, a candidate who is late for an interview needs to be evaluated carefully. Consider this in a team context - breaking deadlines can often effect the bottom line. Additionally, over the years I’ve found that those who are late for an interview typically continue a similar pattern in their daily work lives.
Lack of Preparation.
As professionals, we prepare for each interview we conduct. A candidate has a similar responsibility. If they turn up for the interview without having done their homework, it suggests that they may lack preparation in their day-to-day role within the organisation.
Inability to Admit Weakness.
Not every interview conducted contains a question around weaknesses and failures - and it certainly isn’t a necessity. That said, on the day of the interview, if your counterpart is unable to cite examples of where they have made mistakes, it’s a good indication they haven’t yet realised how to learn from them. We all make mistakes. Those of us who accept this, develop and work to improve our performance.
Filling our organisation’s ranks with great candidates is a difficult task. It takes patience, countless hours of work and a desire to make the organisation better with each and every new employee. Paying attention to these sometimes subtle red flags will help you be much more successful in all that you do each day.
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